In a historic decision, Andhra Pradesh state government has convinced the Centre to its reasonable demands. The Union Government has conceded to fill the AP’s deficit budget and implement the promises it made in AP Reorganization Act 2014.
Five days after the protests of Andhra Pradesh MPs, particularly from TDP, and CM Chandrababu Naidu’s repeated statements, BJP-led government agreed to immediately release the financial assistance for the 10 months in 2014-15 owing to the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission. Apart from this, the Central government has also agreed to provide the pending financial assistance for the three years – 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 – all at once.
Union Minister of Science for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences YS Chowdary (Sujana Chowdary) has interacted with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goel and BJP National President Amit Shah. After an elaborate two-and-half-hour discussion, Finance Minister said to have agreed to clear all the pending dues from the Centre to the State. It is learnt that Jaitley has asked for the accounts of expenditure for the construction of AP’s Capital City Amaravati so far and promised to clear that amount as well.
Jaitley said to have directed Railway Minister Piyush Goel to immediately announce Special Railway Zone to Visakhapatnam and the announcement from Railway Minister is likely to be made anytime sooner.
Meanwhile, Arun Jaitley told YS Chowdary that a Port can’t be built in Dugarajapatnam port as mentioned in the Act due to “security” reasons. Jaitley, however, promised to build the port at anyother location proposed by the state government along with giving all clearances from the Centre.
In lieu of the Special Category Status, Jaitley agreed to give financial assistance to AP. It’s reliably learnt that the Special Package funds would be adjusted towards the gap in funds for the Externally-Aided Projects (EAPs). Apart from these, the Union Government has also agreed to set up the Petro Chemical Complex in AP. In its latest promise, the Centre has also agreed to build Integrated Steel Plant in Kadapa based on natural iron ore available in the region. However, this will be built with Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It’s learnt that the Centre has told YS Chowdary that MECON company would give its detailed report in two days (Feb 12).
With huge uproar from people, leaders of AP over Jaitley’s ‘lackluster’ speech in Parliament that lacked substance, Jaitley clarified to YS Chowdary that the above statements couldn’t be made in Parliament due to the rules, regulations.
On the whole, the Centre has bowed down to the pressure mounted by the TDP leaders. Looks like, TDP has won its preliminary battle in Parliament. The rest depends on the execution.